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“Bernard undoubtedly was truly concerned with the well-being of the poor ... but the approach here is again largely from a monastic standpoint. It is not just a question of art or the care of the poor. It is also a question of debunking the traditional social justification of excessive art — that it was somehow similar to almsgiving ... In the same way that art for the honor of God is not the business of the monk since the monk has already offered the most precious gift one can to God, so there is no need for a rationale which sees these lesser gifts as a worthy form of honor for a monk to convey, a form of honor which as a spiritual undertaking is ultimately contradictory to the dictates of charity.”


Conrad Rudolph, The "things of Greater Importance" Bernard of Clairvaux's "apologia" and the Medieval Attitude Toward Art
tags: pp-103
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